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According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health chronic pain is defined as “pain that lasts more than several months (variously defined as 3 to 6 months, but certainly longer than “normal healing”).” Most adults have experienced serious pain at some point in their lives, and chronic pain is not uncommon. To discern the prevalence of chronic pain in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzed data from the 2016 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) which found an estimated 20.4% (50.0 million) of U.S. adults had chronic pain. Researchers have noted that chronic pain can have a “major impact on the physical and mental capacity to function in everyday life,” and profoundly affect a person’s quality of life and overall well-being. A narcotic (also known as opioid) medication works by changing the way one’s brain and nervous system respond to and process pain, and while this may seem like the most intuitive first-line treatment for chronic pain, there are a plethora of alternative options.

The Treatment Process

The recent U.S. National Pain Strategy report underscores the benefit of the modern approach to chronic pain management, which typically includes educational information about the nature of pain, and promotes an individual’s ability to prevent, cope with, and reduce pain through interdisciplinary pain treatment modalities. Everyone is unique and will require a customized treatment plan developed by a qualified professional to effectively treat chronic pain. There are a variety of treatment methods, including non-traditional options that could be included in an individual’s treatment plan for chronic pain. Different types of psychotherapeutic modalities that could be incorporated into one’s treatment plan could include, individual psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), creative arts therapy, and/ or interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT). Some may benefit from non-narcotic prescription and/ or over-the-counter medications (e.g., aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, etc.). Depending on one’s needs, other treatments used in one’s chronic pain treatment plan may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, biofeedback, relaxation techniques, massage, acupuncture, and high-tech treatments using radio waves and electrical signals. Ample support and a tailored treatment plan will provide an individual with the highest potential for a successful, long-term recovery.

For Information and Support

If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding substance abuse and/ or addiction, we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long-lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment-related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one. We can be reached by phone at 424-318-3777. You are also welcome to contact anytime us via email at admissions@hhtxc.com.